Shooting to Bloomington, Indiana at last second notice wasn’t an issue for us. You may ask why we were so excited to wake up at 4am to drive four and a half hours to IU. Well, anytime that you can get a chance to see a potential top-5 pick in the NBA Draft work around your schedule, you have to jump at the opportunity.
Training with Indiana GA Seth Cooper (who previously worked with the Clippers), Oladipo went through a grueling workout encompassing all of his offensive skill set. He trained alongside his roommate and potential draftee Christian Watford, with the two pushing each other throughout the entire duration.
To read more on the workout itself, check out this SLAMonline piece, but here’s Victor’s interview in it’s entirety:
CityLeagueHoops: Coming up in high school, you certainly weren’t the most highly touted guy. What was your drive like throughout the process to put you in the position that you’re in three years later as an NBA lottery pick?
Victor Oladipo: It’s a little bit of everything. Whether it be my support staff around me telling me to keep going, or my inner-self pushing myself. As you said, I was under-recruited in high school, so I had to keep up my work ethic and drive to succeed.
CityLeagueHoops: You mentioned being under-recruited, so who were some of the schools that recruited you before you picked IU?
VO: A lot of schools were recruiting me, but none of them really offered. A lot of schools recruited me, but then got other players and stuff. Coach Crean offered me a scholarship after seeing me play just one time. I came on my visit and felt that this was the best place for me, so I guess I made the right decision.
CityLeagueHoops: You were a player who initially came into Indiana as a role player, but have positioned yourself to be in the league. How did you stay so focused on taking your game to the next level when you were initially thought of as little more than a lockdown defender?
VO: I just stayed in the gym. I know it might sound cliche, but it’s the honest truth. I stayed here every summer since I’ve been here and I’ve just been working. The gym just became contagious. I’ve just been in the gym working hard and working on my game. I was working on a whole bunch things and eventually it just worked out for me.
CityLeagueHoops: You’ve spoken a whole lot about the work that you’ve put in. What is it that you’ve improved upon the most at IU?
VO: Definitely my jumper. My jumpshot has gotten a lot better from day one til now. Also, better decision making. I can tighten up my jumpshot, I can tighten up my ball-handling. I have improved in every one of those areas, but I have a lot of room to get better too. I’m looking forward to doing that.
CityLeagueHoops: I’ve seen the improvement first hand since I last saw you in person at the CP3 Elite Guard Camp, where you were one of the few wings there. What did you learn from Chris at the camp?
VO: I went to CP3 with a bunch of point guards, but I was kind of the odd ball out. I was one of the three wings there and the tallest player there, but I learned a lot of things at that camp. Whether it be how to use the pick and roll….just things that CP3 does so well to separate himself. I still work on things from that camp all of the time and I’m glad that I went there, so hopefully I’ll keep applying them to my game.
CityLeagueHoops: What do you think that you’re going to surprise teams with the most in the workout process?
VO: I don’t know. I’m just going to go in there and work my butt off. I’m going to work at a high level and do what got me here. I think that I may surprise some people with how well I shoot the ball. Other than that, I”m just going to go in there and workout hard, like I’ve been doing.
CityLeagueHoops: You’re a guy who went from not being considered an NBA player, to potential 2nd round pick after your senior year, to first rounder, to lottery pick, and now potential top 5 pick. How wild has this roller coaster been?
VO: It’s been absolutely crazy. It’s been a roller coaster…that’s a wonderful word for it. I just kept working. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s been crazy. You grow up having dreams of stuff like this and to actually that much closer to seeing it come true is an amazing feeling. But, it just makes you work that much harder because you have more dreams to achieve now.